US SENATORS, FBI OPEN TO CRYPTO PRIVACY, SAYS RAILGUN CONTRIBUTOR 

U.S. senators and federal intelligence agencies are more open to privacy-centric cryptocurrency protocols than commonly perceived, says Alan Scott Jr., a researcher and promoter for the Ethereum privacy protocol, Railgun.

In an interview with Cointelegraph during the ETH Global event in Sydney on May 2, Scott, who regularly engages with lawmakers and the FBI in Washington D.C., reported that he has not observed any significant opposition to crypto privacy initiatives among these groups.

Scott described many government officials as intelligent and committed to doing what is right to safeguard the public. Railgun, which Scott advocates for, is a protocol designed to maintain privacy for users in decentralized finance (DeFi) on Ethereum and its layer-2 networks such as Polygon and Arbitrum.

Despite its intentions, Railgun has sometimes been associated with other privacy-focused crypto protocols like Tornado Cash, which have faced legal challenges recently. On April 17, Railgun refuted claims via an X social media account that it had been used by North Korea or other sanctioned entities for laundering money, referencing an FBI statement about $60 million in Ether laundered in the 2022 Harmony bridge heist. Railgun emphasized that its technology prevents misuse by malicious parties.

Scott pointed out that the FBI, being a complex organization, has officials more concerned with stopping financial crime than with targeting privacy technologies per se.

He also shared that his discussions with U.S. policymakers have been predominantly positive, with many expressing a keen interest in understanding cryptocurrency and DeFi technologies. “They ask insightful questions and are eager to comprehend the technology and its appeal,” he noted.

Recent legal actions, such as the arrests of the co-founders of Samourai Wallet on April 24 for allegedly laundering money through their crypto mixer and Bitcoin wallet, highlight ongoing concerns around privacy technologies. However, Scott believes these do not indicate a broad governmental aversion to privacy in the crypto sector.

“What Railgun is creating is significant for the disintermediation of finance,” Scott remarked, emphasizing the importance of privacy in these efforts. He argued that privacy is already a fundamental aspect of traditional finance and should be viewed similarly in cryptocurrency. The illegalization of privacy in crypto, he added, would be a considerable setback.

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